New ‘Delta Plus’ variant reaches Israel, 12 already infected

Carriers brought the mutation from Georgia, one of the countries from which Israelis will be banned from visiting as of Friday.

By World Israel News Staff

As the number of Covid infections continues to climb, Israeli health officials identified 12 cases of the new “Delta Plus” variant.

According to Hebrew-language media reports, most of the carriers of this variant travelled to Israel from Georgia. The Health Ministry has banned Israelis from traveling to the Caucasus region state, but that restriction doesn’t take effect until Friday.

Israel’s first confirmed case of Delta Plus was reported earlier in July, also in a passenger who arrived from an undisclosed country.

Delta Plus, as it is referred to, is a mutation of the Delta Variant. It first came to the attention of medical professionals in England in March. It isn’t clear how Delta Plus mutation compares to the Delta Variant in terms of infectiousness, deadliness, or ability to resist vaccines.

It has since been detected in North America, Europe, India and Japan.

Travel bans on Great Britain, Cyprus, Turkey and Kenya also begin on Friday. Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Russia, Spain, South Africa and Uzbekistan are currently banned.

In another restriction due to kick in on Monday night, non-travelers will be banned from Ben Gurion Airport’s terminals. Exceptions will be made for minors and people with special needs who require a chaperone.

The Ministry of Health announced that there were 1,398 new infections diagnosed on Sunday, bringing the number of active cases up to 11,606. Of those, 108 are classified as serious with 20 on ventilators.

Overall, 6,461 Israelis have died of Covid.